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2021 Melbourne Cup: Fourth acceptances declared, how does the field shape?

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Zac Ferguson new author
Roar Rookie
25th October, 2021

It started as 124 first acceptances, it now lays at 35. With the capacity field size being 24, 11 unlucky horses will drop out of the contention for the 2021 Melbourne Cup on Saturday evening.

This year’s race shapes up to be a fascinating edition of the race that stops the nation with dominate Caufield Cup winner Incentivise currently listed as the $2.30 favourite.

He will need to be the first favourite to win since Fiorente in 2013. He has been allocated 57 kilograms to carry.

He will need to be the first horse to carry more than 56.5 kilos to win since Makybe Diva did it in 2005 with 58 kilograms.

Is he good enough to do so and win? There are a few horses that can give him a scare.

There are three internationally trained horses in this year’s field. Last year’s winner Twilight Payment will defend his crown with 58 kilograms on his back. That is an increase of 2.5 kilograms from his win last year.

Has he been weighted out of contention? His trainer Joseph O’Brien won the Cox Plate with State of Rest on Saturday so if anyone can train a horse to win it again, I don’t see why it can’t be him.

Away He Goes is an Irish gelding. This horse travels over for Ismail Mohammed. He has some hot form lines from his racing in Europe. He is weighted well enough to win so I would not discount his chances.


The final international raider, and according to the bookmakers the best international chance, is Spanish Mission.

He is shipped over after a last-start second placing behind one of the greatest stayers of all time in Stradivarius.

He has the best international form and as mentioned is $6.50 in markets. He lumps 57 kilograms just like Incentivise does. Can one of them defy recent history and win? I would not say no.

The top two horses in the market as mentioned are carrying big weights. There are a few horses down in the weights who could run big races.

Grand Promenade is the current third favourite at $11. He is trained by one of the leading local staying partnerships of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

He qualified for this race at the start of this month with a dominant win in the Bart Cummings at Flemington.

He only carries 52 kilograms. Kerrin McEvoy is a previous winner of the race. He is booked to ride and he will be on the pace and give a sight.


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Tralee Rose may be the story of the year if she won. She is a lightly raced mare who was a bargain buy and won her way in with a tough win in the Geelong Cup last Wednesday.

She only has the featherweight of 51 kilograms on her back. The 3200 metres should not be a problem and she can make her presence felt.

Explosive Jack was a marvel in his three-year-old season. He took out three derbies and placed in another, which was an excellent training feat again by the Maher and Eustace combination.

He has been steadily building up to this race all spring and is fairly weighted at 54 kilograms. He is another local who is a contender in the great race.


There are many more chances in this race but not all can be shown in the spotlight.

Come Saturday night many people around Australia and the world will be studying the form for the great race.

Hopefully it turns out to be as good as it looks on paper.